Dacorum police officer quits after giving misleading evidence under oath

A former Hertfordshire Constabulary officer has been barred from being re-employed in the police service

By Matthew Smith, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 11:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 11:58 am

A Dacorum police officer who quit after a judge said she was “determined to mislead us” while appearing as a witness has been barred from returning to the profession.

PC Fahamida Miah left the force in April 2021, but a misconduct panel held last month determined she would have been dismissed for gross misconduct following allegations she had given false evidence while under oath.

A report published last week following the hearing concluded PC Miah had breached the expected standards of officers while appearing in court off duty, with one judge saying “we found her a poor witness, an unconvincing witness determined to mislead us”.

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PC Fahamida Miah left Hertfordshire Constabulary in April 2021

PC Miah was appearing as a witness in a civil court appeal hearing before a judicial panel at Luton Crown Court, which was connected to her previous employment as a lettings agent.

Some of PC Miah’s evidence given under oath was described as “unconvincing, artificial and obviously false”.

She was not appearing in her capacity as a police officer, but the court was made aware that she was a serving officer at the time she gave evidence.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s misconduct panel determined this breached the Standard of Professional Behaviour in regards to Discreditable Conduct, Order and Instructions, and Honesty and Integrity.

PC Miah gave false evidence while appearing as a witness in a civil court appeal hearing at Luton Crown Court

The decision noted some mitigating factors, including receiving recognition for the “excellent” service she had provided in the borough of Dacorum.

The outcome, published on the police force’s website, said: “She has also written an apology to myself for the situation and describes the distress that has caused her since this matter came to light.

"Although she resigned from the service in April 2021, she describes the feeling still as raw and that her dream of being a police officer has been shattered.”

However, the panel said the “only reasonable outcome” would have been to dismiss the officer without notice.

The decision said: “Dishonesty amongst police officers fundamentally undermines policing’s ability to police by consent and it is right that I and policing in general demand the highest of standards around honesty and integrity.

“This conduct fell well short of that, and I consider it particularly damaging this played out in a courtroom before judges.

"The public would understandably question how a police officer can be trusted by anyone if they cannot be trusted to give honest answers before a judge.”

It also noted that judges had recorded an Adverse Judicial Finding, which could affect any evidence she may present in court as part of her role, and the decision found it was “immaterial” that this was done in an off-duty capacity.

The decision concluded: “In reaching a decision on final outcome I have returned to the purpose of imposing sanctions in misconduct proceedings.

“This case involves an element of dishonesty and breach of integrity.

"Whilst this is not operational dishonesty, the circumstances of this being in a court and the Adverse Judicial Finding means this would have had a direct bearing on her role as a police officer, notwithstanding it otherwise had no connection with police duties.

"In these circumstances, I consider that this is sufficiently serious and would have been otherwise damaging to public confidence and the reputation of the constabulary, and also difficult to effectively deploy PC Miah in police roles, that had she not already chosen to resign, the only reasonable outcome for me to reach would be to impose disciplinary action that would have been dismissal without notice.

“In addition, I request that her name is now added to the barred list to prevent her future re-employment within the police service.”

The full report can be seen here.